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NACDL News: NACDL Calls for Strong Intent Requirements in Federal Criminal Law
By Ivan J. Dominguez and Isaac Kramer
NACDL News columns.
On July 19, 2013, the newly created Congressional Task Force on Overcriminalization held its second hearing, this one focused on “Mens Rea: The Need for a Meaningful Intent Requirement in Federal Criminal Law.” NACDL Executive Director Norman L. Reimer was one of two witnesses appearing before the task force on July 19. The other witness was Georgetown Law School Visiting Professor John S. Baker, Jr.
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) chairs the task force and opened the hearing by praising, and citing extensively, the findings set forth in the joint report of NACDL and the Heritage Foundation, Without Intent: How Congress is Eroding the Criminal Intent Requirement in Federal Law. Ranking Member of the Task Force Bobby Scott (D-VA) also recognized the absence of adequate mens rea, or criminal intent, requirements in the federal criminal code and regulations. Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee John Conyers (D-MI) echoed Task Force Chairman Sensenbrenner’s appreciation
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